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Comment Re:Stephen Fry's previous good stuff: gnu bday (Score 1) 126 126

Freedom *is* the ability to do things. A phone that I can compile a kernel module for lets me do a lot more things than one where I may purchase pre-approved entertainment centric apps.

1700s: "Give me freedom or give me death!"

2000s: "Give me freedom or... oooh, is that an iPhone?"

/me slowly turns into RMS.

Comment Re:Ok, but (Score 1) 1138 1138

I certainly meant no disparagement. The OP implied that if you were even 10% below average intelligence, you could never pass a Calculus class. I think the deal with calc is that it's pretty hard to teach but once you understand it, it can seem fundamental and simple.

I'm not sure if there are different kinds of intelligence. I'd like to think that the human mind is at least equivalent to (and likely a super set of) a Turing machine. Then the difference would really be one of inclination. People excel at what they are actually interested in. I probably couldn't pass a Business class to save my life.

Comment Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (Score 1) 249 249

Not all felons have caused actual damage to society. Felonies are handed out to enemies of the state as a way of labeling them, keeping them out of the middle class no matter how hard they work. People are denied lawyers. Cops and other witnesses sometimes lie.

Or would you rather believe that we have 1/4 of the world's prison population because Americans are just more likely to be criminals?

A Felon

The Courts

Court Reinstates Proof-of-Age Requirement For Nude Ads 267 267

arbitraryaardvark writes "An Ohio swinger's magazine objects to keeping proof on file that its advertisers are over 18. I reported here in 2007 that the 6th circuit struck down U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 as a First Amendment violation. The full 6th circuit has now overturned that ruling. The case might continue to the Supreme Court. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports."

Comment Re:This can't be good. (Score 5, Insightful) 643 643

Gallium3d will enable just that. The Wikipedia page even mentions DirectX and wine.

That said, I don't think the uproar over OpenGL 3.0 is as widespread as the summary would have you believe. OpenGL's grave will likely be right next to Unix, X, vi and C (ie. no time soon).


Spitzer's 5-Gigapixel Milky Way 124 124

James Harold writes "Today NASA unveiled a new infrared mosaic of our galaxy. The result of over 800,000 individual images collected by the Spitzer Space Telescope, it is the largest, highest-resolution, and most sensitive infrared picture ever taken of the Milky Way (and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future). Because Spitzer sees in infrared, it penetrates much farther into the galaxy, revealing previously hidden star clusters, star-forming regions, shocked gases, glowing 'bubbles' and more. The complete mosaic is about 400,000 by 13,000 pixels, and a 180' printed version is being shown at the American Astronomical Society meeting in St. Louis. A zoomable, annotated version of two different variants on the image (as well as some additional information on the science) is available at Alien Earths, a NASA- and NSF-supported education site." The Spitzer survey is already causing a stir potentially bigger than that raised when Pluto was deemed not a planet: two minor spiral arms of the Milky Way may be demoted.

Bacteria Found Alive In Ice 120,000 Years Old 326 326

FiReaNGeL notes research presented this morning at Penn State on the discovery of a new, ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. From the announcement: "The microorganism's ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system. This new species is among the ubiquitous, yet mysterious, ultra-small bacteria, which are so tiny that they are able to pass through microbiological filters. Called Chryseobacterium greenlandensis, the species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud, and the roots of some plants."

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)